Ghana Table of Contents
Military training for all officer candidates of the army, air force, and navy is conducted at the Ghana Military Academy near Accra. Entrance to the academy is by examination, and the curriculum includes military and general subjects. Duration of the course for army cadets is two years. At the end of the first six months, a few candidates may be selected to finish their studies at foreign institutions such as the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in Britain. The Ghana Military Academy, established in 1960, also provides short courses in higher military education for the officers of the three services. The best senior officers are selected periodically to attend the Army Staff College at Camberley in Britain or one of several other senior service schools in foreign countries.
The Armed Forces Training School at Kumasi trains army, air force, and navy recruits. The basic army training course lasts nine months and is followed by advanced individual training in the assigned unit. This school also provides specialist training. A parachute training school is located at Tamale and a jungle warfare school at Achiasi.
The army has conducted numerous field exercises with a variety of code names, including Hot Foot, Deep Thrust, Operation Swift Sword, Full Impact, and Starlight Stretch. These exercises test an array of skills. Full Impact 88, for example, marked the first time that Ghanaian army, air force, and navy units trained together. Deep Thrust 89 emphasized jungle warfare, junior leadership, and physical fitness. Starlight Stretch 89, which was held at Daboya in the northern region, improved low-level operations for company groups in the infantry battalion.
To enhance regional collective security, the Ghanaian army also has participated in joint exercises with Burkina Faso (Burkina, formerly Upper Volta). In November 1983 and in early 1985, the two countries sponsored joint exercises code-named "Bold Union" and "Teamwork 85." The latter involved 5,500 troops and ninety officers from the two armed forces. These personnel engaged in maneuvers in which government soldiers defended themselves against a battalionstrong enemy force which had installed itself on Dwarf Island near the strategically critical Akosombo Dam.
The Ghanaian government subsequently pledged to help defend its neighbor in case of armed aggression. As a result of this agreement, Ghana and Burkina have continued joint exercises. In late 1986, a 3,000-member contingent of soldiers from Ghana and Burkina participated in a week-long exercise to test the combat readiness of their armed forces and security agencies. Then, in September 1987, the two countries staged a three-day exercise codenamed Operation Vulcan in northern Ghana's Tamale region. During this exercise, paratroopers of the two countries parachuted into "friendly" territory to give support to ground forces under simulated enemy fire. Later that year, Ghana and Burkina concluded a three-month exercise in which four British trainers participated.
Historically, the Ghanaian Air Force has relied on foreign military assistance from India, Israel, Canada, Britain, and Italy for pilot training. In early 1959, Indian and Israeli officers supervised the formation of Ghana's air force. In mid-1959, an Indian air force senior air commodore established a headquarters for the service at Accra. In July 1959, Israeli air force instructors trained the first group of Ghanaian cadet fliers at Accra International Airport. Two years later, ten Ghanaians qualified as pilots.
In late 1960, Ghana terminated the training agreement with Israel. Shortly thereafter, Accra and London signed an accord whereby 150 officers and airmen from the British Royal Air Force (RAF) assumed responsibility for training the Ghanaian Air Force. The commander of this RAF contingent also replaced the Indian air commodore as chief of staff of the Ghanaian Air Force. In mid-1961 a small group from the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) supplemented the British mission. In September 1961, as part of his Africanization program, Nkrumah appointed an army brigadier as chief of staff and relieved all RAF officers of their commands. The RAF contingent remained in Ghana, however, to help develop the Ghanaian Air Force as part of the British Joint Services Training Mission.
In more recent years, Ghana has relied on Nigeria for air force training. In late 1989, twenty-five Ghanaian pilots and technicians graduated from various training programs in Kano, Nigeria. On December 6, 1989, PNDC member Lieutenant General Arnold Quainoo announced that Nigeria had donated twelve Czech-built L-29 Delfin trainers to the Ghanaian Air Force. The Ghanaian and Nigerian air forces also conducted joint operations under the auspices of the ECOMOG peacekeeping force in Liberia.
Naval training has concentrated on improving the skills of personnel both on shore and at sea. In addition, the Ghanaian navy regularly participates in joint air-and-sea search-and-rescue operations. The United States navy has supplemented these efforts by allowing United States ships participating in the West African Training Cruise to visit Ghana. During the 1990 training cruise, the United States donated an array of educational materials and conducted a symposium on fisheries enforcement. Inclement weather forced the cancellation of a joint amphibious exercise, however.
The paramilitary People's Militia usually receives its training during evenings, weekends, and short periods of attachment to regular army units. The Presidential Guard, which evolved from the President's Own Guard Regiment established by Nkrumah, enjoys a higher training priority and commands a greater proportion of the military's resources.
Data as of November 1994
Ghana Table of Contents